On Saturday, NBC News host Lester Holt seemed to lament the fact that the climate change conference in Copenhagen did not result in greater regulation of carbon emissions as, on the NBC Nightly News, Holt passed on that "many" called the agreement that was reached "weak and disappointing," and he seemed to accept the premise that more regulations would affect the climate as he relayed that President Obama "admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming." Holt: " President Obama, who took the lead on getting that deal, calls it a breakthrough. But even he admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming."
During the same morning’s Today show, as he introduced correspondent Mike Viqueira, Holt recounted that the conference "fell far short of what many hoped for." Viqueira passed on complaints by environmental activists: "But a lot of people say it falls short. It will monitor emissions cuts, would this agreement, but it sets no target for curbing greenhouse gases, and that has left a lot of people – particularly in the environmental community – very disappointed."
Below are complete transcripts of the relevant stories from NBC’s Today show and the NBC Nightly News from Saturday, December 19:
#From the NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: That big and sometimes chaotic meeting on climate change in Copenhagen officially ended this morning with delegates from around the world agreeing to, quote, "take note" of a deal reached by five major nations – a statement of intent that many called weak and disappointing to take action on global warming. President Obama, who took the lead on getting that deal, calls it a breakthrough. But even he admitted a lot more needs to be done to achieve significant changes in global warming.
#From the Today show:
LESTER HOLT: In Copenhagen there is an agreement, but the U.N. Climate Conference fell far short of what many hoped for. The President returned from the summit last night just as the Senate gears up for a marathon weekend focused on getting a health care bill passed before Christmas. Here with the latest is NBC’s Mike Viqueira. Mike, that’s going to be tough, I know, for lawmakers getting to the Capitol on a snowy day. We’ll talk about that in a moment, but let's first talk about this climate conference. The President in a news conference had really stern talk calling for meaningful change. He comes away with this deal. The headline says he brokered the deal. How big a deal is it? And is it what he was looking for?
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Well, Lester, you’re right. The President arrived just about midnight on the dot back here in a snowy Washington fresh off his trip to Copenhagen. The President in his departure statement just before leaving Copenhagen called it a meaningful breakthrough. But a lot of people say it falls short. It will monitor emissions cuts, would this agreement, but it sets no target for curbing greenhouse gases, and that has left a lot of people – particularly in the environmental community – very disappointed. It was a very contentious meeting all day long. The President stayed for some five hours late in Copenhagen trying to broker a deal. At one point, he thought he was walking into a bilateral meeting with the premier of China, Wen Jiabao, only to find that Wen Jiabao was meeting with the Indian prime minister, the Brazilian president, the leader of South Africa. And at some point, American officials had been told that some or all of those officials were at the airport and were unable to meet. So the President walked into the meeting, they tried to broker this agreement, they took it to the larger group that was meeting there in Copenhagen, more than 150 nations. They only voted to take note of the agreement reached by those leaders. So a very lukewarm reception by others at Copenhagen, Lester.